US STOCKS-Microsoft helps Wall St to another day of record highs
* Microsoft surges on better-than-expected results
* Morgan Stanley, Abbott also rise after earnings
* Dow posts 9th straight session of gains
* Indexes up: Dow 0.19 pct, S&P 0.43 pct, Nasdaq 1.06 pct (Updates with close of U.S. market)
By Lewis Krauskopf
July 20 (Reuters) - Wall Street gained on Wednesday and the S&P 500 and Dow industrials set fresh records, as Microsoft's strong results boosted the indexes and marked the latest sign that U.S. corporate earnings season may be less dour than feared.
Microsoft shares surged 5.3 percent after the software giant posted sharp growth in its cloud computing business.
The stock gave by far the biggest lift to the major indexes and the tech sector.
Defensive sectors such as utilities and telecoms have led the market's gains in 2016, while groups such as financials and tech have trailed. Continuación...